Melinda Sue Gordon
The filmmaker is determined to provide a boost to the cinematic experience as theaters reopen after being forced to shutter due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The release of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has been delayed two weeks to July 31. Warner Bros. had been set to open the $200 million tentpole on July 17.

Nolan, a devotee of the cinematic experience, has been adamant about sticking to a July date in hopes of providing a boost for theaters ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Even while Tenet is moving, Nolan and Warner Bros. aren’t giving up the mid-July date entirely: In Tenet‘s place, Inception will be made available to cinemas (that film is celebrating its 10th anniversary).

Minutes after the Tenet news was announced, Solstice Studios said it is pushing the road-rage thriller Unhinged, starring Russell Crowe, from July 1 to July 10. And by early evening, Warner Bros. and filmmaker Patty Jenkins announced that Wonder Woman 1984 would be relocating from Aug. 14 to Oct. 2.

Disney’s Mulan remains set to open on July 24, followed by The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run on Aug. 7. It remains to be seen whether either film moves off of its respective date.

“We are excited that our partners at Warner Bros. will offer a new generation of film fans the opportunity to enjoy Inception the way it was originally intended to be seen — on the big screen. Over these last months we have been keeping Warner Bros. closely informed of our work toward reopening our theatres in accordance with governmental health and safety requirements, and we are looking forward to audiences enjoying Tenet in our theaters all around the world on July 31st,” the National Association of Theatre Owners said in a statement when announcing the new date.

The vast majority of cinemas across the country have been closed since the latter part of March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Little is known about Tenet, other than it had to do with international espionage and deals with a time continuum. John David Washington leads an ensemble cast that includes Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine.

Tenet joins a long list of studio tentpoles that have been delayed because of the pandemic. Wonder Woman 1984 was supposed to open in early June but was pushed to August, while Mulan had been set to hit theaters in late March.